By Staff of Campaign Nonviolence – Campaign Nonviolence is a long-term movement to mainstream nonviolence and build a culture of peace in three interrelated ways: practicing nonviolence toward ourselves, toward all others, and toward the world by working to abolish war, end poverty, reverse the climate crisis, and challenge all violence. In cities and towns in all 50 states, Campaign Nonviolence will march against violence and for a world of peace, justice and sustainability. During Campaign Nonviolence Week, we will connect the dots between war, poverty, climate change, and all forms of violence —and join forces to work for a culture of peace.
By Diego Arguedas Ortiz in IPS News – Central America’s toolbox to pull 23 million people – almost half of the population – out of poverty must include three indispensable tools: universal access to water, a sustainable power supply, and adaptation to climate change. “These are the minimum, basic, necessary preconditions for guaranteeing survival,” Víctor Campos, assistant director of the Humboldt Centre, a leading Nicaraguan environmental think tank, told IPS. These three tools are especially important for agriculture, the engine of the regional economy, and particularly in rural areas and indigenous territories, which have the highest levels of poverty. Campos stressed that this is the minimum foundation for starting to work “towards addressing other issues that we must pay attention to, like education, health, or vulnerable groups; but first these conditions that guarantee minimal survival have to be in place.”
By David Masciotra in AlterNet – The war on the poor exposes the tyrannical turn of political administration in the United States – a country committed to mutating its criminal justice system, already more criminal than just, into an apparatus of assault against its most defenseless citizens. The following laws and policies give painful illustration to America’s attack on the poor in which the impoverished receive perpetual punishment for their poverty. This compilation does not include the mile-long list of policies that harm the poor, such as difficulty acquiring health care and child care, regressive taxation, or the cost of college. The following are policies in which state governments are actively levying the legal system against the poor.
By Rebecca Hiscott in Attn – Children from low-income households tend to have poorer academic performance and lower standardized test scores than kids from higher-income families, as well as more emotional and behavioral problems, including ADHD, depression, and anxiety. In adulthood, they typically hold fewer advanced degrees and have truncated earning potential. New research suggests this may, in part, be attributed to the way growing up in an impoverished home changes the brain. A study published Monday in the journal JAMA Pediatrics followed 389 kids and teens, aged 4 to 22, from a range of socioeconomic backgrounds between 2001 and 2006.
By Ben Adler for Grist – Forty-seven years after the passage of the Fair Housing Act, you might think that these problems are gradually disappearing. You would be wrong. “Architecture of Segregation,” a new study from the Century Foundation, a liberal think tank, finds that concentrated poverty, especially among African-Americans and Latinos, is actually getting worse. Among the key findings: “The number of people living in high-poverty ghettos, barrios, and slums has nearly doubled since 2000, rising from 7.2 million to 13.8 million.” “Poverty became more concentrated [since 2000] — more than one in four of the black poor and nearly one in six of the Hispanic poor lives in a neighborhood of extreme poverty, compared to one in thirteen of the white poor.” But the culprit isn’t simply racial discrimination — it’s also suburban sprawl.
By Gloria Walton in Scopela – In the last 20 years, SCOPE has emerged as a local laboratory for L.A. From day one, we were pushing the envelope. Experimenting. How do we build community power and influence? How do we elevate equity in all policies? We believe if you start by building a program for people with the most burdens, facing the greatest barriers, who come from the poorest communities, if you start there and build a program for those communities to succeed, then you have a program that will benefit everyone. SCOPE’s 20-year-old jobs model does that. Our model couples entry-level jobs with job-training and apprenticeships to create real career pathways into good-paying union jobs in entertainment, health care and the green economy. These programs go the extra mile by providing paid on-the-job training, mentoring by experienced senior workers and tutoring to help pass certification exams and tests.
By Alana Semuels in The Atlantic – Half a century after President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a war on poverty, the number of Americans living in slums is rising at an extraordinary pace. The number of people living in high-poverty areas—defined as census tracts where 40 percent or more of families have income levels below the federal poverty threshold—nearly doubled between 2000 and 2013, to 13.8 million from 7.2 million, according to a new analysis of census data by Paul Jargowsky, a public-policy professor at Rutgers University-Camden and a fellow at The Century Foundation. That’s the highest number of Americans living in high-poverty neighborhoods ever recorded. The development is worrying, especially since the number of people living in high-poverty areas fell 25 percent, to 7.2 million from 9.6 million, between 1990 and 2000.
By Eleanor Goldberg in the Huffington Post. Los Angeles, CA – In many areas, poor residents typically have longer commutes and less access to public transportation than middle- and upper-class communities, yet they’re being excluded from the growing car-share trend. But that gap may at least begin to close in Los Angeles. Across the U.S. people earning between $5,000 and $30,000 a year spend about a quarter of their household income on transportation. Though car-sharing programs can help low-income individuals greatly cut down on travel costs and gas emissions, these companies typically don’t cater to poorer neighborhoods since the profit potential isn’t there, Streets Blog USA points out.
By Erica Garner and Reggie Harris. New York, NY – We applaud Governor Cuomo for temporarily instituting a special prosecutor to investigate tragedies like Raynette Turner’s death. Without his executive order, we would not be paying attention to the unacceptable death of this mother of eight arrested who was held for two days without bail for allegedly stealing crab legs from a grocery store (presumably to eat). After reading the responses from local politicians and community activists, we find it necessary to highlight a glaring question we are left with after all of the congratulations and backslapping: Is it reasonable to keep a visibly sick mother of eight in jail for two days because she allegedly stole food?
By Maya Dukmasova in Truthout – On the first Wednesday in June, nine Chicago activists were arrested for occupying an administration building at the University of Chicago during an annual alumni reunion. They demanded to meet with Rob Zimmer, the president of the university, to discuss the lack of a Level 1 trauma center on the South Side, as hundreds of big donors were poised to arrive on campus. Two and a half hours later, firefighters cut a hole through the wall and the nine were detained by university police. In the previous month, nine other demonstrators for a South Side trauma center had been arrested during a march on Michigan Avenue. Currently, all four of Chicago’s adult trauma centers are located on the North and West sides of the city, leaving almost a fifth of city residents and large swaths of the South Side without a trauma center within a 5-mile radius.
By Chris Hedges in Truth Dig – The poor and the working class in the United States know what it is to be Greek. They know underemployment and unemployment. They know life without a pension. They know existence on a few dollars a day. They know gas and electricity being turned off because of unpaid bills. They know the crippling weight of debt. They know being sick and unable to afford medical care. They know the state seizing their meager assets, a process known in the United States as “civil asset forfeiture,” which has permitted American police agencies to confiscate more than $3 billion in cash and property. They know the profound despair and abandonment that come when schools, libraries, neighborhood health clinics, day care services, roads, bridges, public buildings and assistance programs are neglected or closed. They know the financial elites’ hijacking of democratic institutions to impose widespread misery in the name of austerity. They, like the Greeks, know what it is to be abandoned.
By Chris S Duvall in The Conversation – Massachusetts just opened its first marijuana dispensary, with many applauding the move. And as more and more states decriminalize the drug, polls show that most Americans believe that the costs of marijuana prohibition outweigh its benefits. There are surely social benefits to legalization. For one, fewer marijuana-related arrests should slow spending on the war on drugs, which has been astronomically expensive and unsuccessful. And fewer arrests should benefit minority communities that have experienced racially biased drug-law enforcement. Blacks, for instance, face nearly four times the rate of marijuana arrests as whites, despite similar rates of marijuana use and overall drug use between the two racial groups. However, even after decriminalization in some states, racial disparities in arrest rates have persisted, though the total number of arrests has dropped.
By Ira B Dember in Occupy – In March, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau proposed rules to crack down on predatory payday lenders. These rules would prevent many payday lending abuses and give consumers a way out of lenders’ debt trap. Under the CFPB’s new rules, borrowers would first have to show they could cover their basic living expenses while repaying loans. Lenders could skip “means testing” and instead limit each person’s total borrowing to $500 – with a single finance charge and no repeated charges. Gone would be auto title loans: if you can’t repay, lenders can’t grab your car. (Workers often lose their jobs when they lose their wheels, a “death spiral” that spreads personal and financial chaos.) A couple of months after the CFPB published its proposed rules, TheHill.com reported financial industry blowback.
By TeleSurTV.net. This year, World Refugee Day comes as the number of displaced people around the globe hits records levels of nearly 60 million, the majority of whom are hosted in developing countries. By the end of 2013, developing countries hosted 10.1 million refugees, or 86 percent of the global population of refugees. Countries such as Turkey, Lebanon, Iran, Pakistan, and Jordan carry a considerable burden of hosting the world’s displaced, whereas wealthy countries such as U.S., Australia, Canada, and the U.K. are lagging far behind in helping to address the global refugee crisis.
By Ashoka Jegroo in Waging Non-Violence – Over 30,000 people crowded onto the streets of Munich, Germany on June 4 to protest the upcoming meeting between leaders of seven of the world’s richest countries. “I’d say I’m here against the inequality that continues to prevail — that we have it so good and others have it so bad,” a protester named Julia told EuroNews. “And because we must not lose hope that one day the world really will be equal, and we will all have the same values.” Protesters also took the chance to address a wide variety of issues. Chief among these issues were poverty, climate change, and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, a proposed free trade deal between the United States and Europe that has been negotiated mostly in secret. Environmentalist groups, NGOs, opposition parties and anti-globalization activists all marched through Munich’s streets together with “Stop TTIP — Save the Climate — Fight Poverty” as their motto.